British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, President Barack Obama, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Ambassador Alexander Vershbow stand during the opening session at the NATO Summit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Protesters march down Michigan Ave. in Chicago during Sunday's NATO
summit. (AP Photo/Seth
The Rev. Jesse Jackson pauses before speaking at a rally during the NATO summit Sunday. (AP
Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Jackson leads a group U.S. war
veterans during a protest march. (AP Photo/Seth
In the last few minutes, even some of the most stubborn protesters seem to be leaving -- for now. One man leaving told police, "I ain't done yet. I'll be back for round two." He refused to give his name.
By Ryan J. Foley in Chicago
"This will not be a combat mission."- NATO in a statement issued this morning, on the alliance's presence in Afghanistan. NATO directed a review of the need for continued military support there after ground forces depart and the war ends in 2014. The alliance said it would "continue to provide strong and long-term political and practical support" to the government of Afghanistan and would "train, advise and assist" the Afghan military.
So far in the two-day NATO conference, the leaders have voiced hope that a decade of war in Afghanistan will give way to a decade of transition to peace and stability, aided by the U.S. and its allies.
But hard realities intrude.
Some NATO countries, most recently France, have sought to end their combat commitments early. The Taliban and its allies have warned that they are waiting to fill the void in Afghanistan after NATO leaves. And with alliance forces _ the bulk of which are American _ still committed to many more months of fighting, the sacrifices are far from over.
NATO invited Pakistan to the summit in Chicago assuming the government was close to reopening the route through the country used to transport supplies to coalition troops in neighboring Afghanistan.Despite NATO’s hope, negotiations over the supply route have been complicated by Pakistan’s demands for much higher fees per container than previously paid. President Barack Obama is not scheduled to meet with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari during the summit, an indication of the White House’s frustration that the supply line remains closed.
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